Ahead of Haredi draft law vote, activists put funeral wreaths at coalition lawmaker’s homes to signal danger

Ahead of an expected first Knesset vote on a contentious bill for the enlistment of Haredi men, activists place funeral wreaths outside the homes of a number of coalition lawmakers, signaling that supporting the law will endanger the lives of citizens.

The Recruiting for Unity forum, made up of bereaved families and reservists, says the wreaths are for the lawmakers to use at the funeral of the “next in line” to die.

“The IDF lacks 7,000 soldiers, and supporting the law endangers the lives of the citizens of the State of Israel,” says the forum.

“We spared the lawmakers who support the law from making an effort, and already prepared the wreaths for them so that they could use them in the next event where the security of the citizens of the State of Israel is violated because of their decision to support the law,” the activists say.

Ultra-orthodox women and male yeshiva students are generally exempt from military service due to controversial longstanding arrangements that have generated significant criticism and anger among the general population.

The government is trying to move ahead with legislation that will cement in law the exemption, despite opposition to the move within the coalition and pressure in the High Court, where petitions have been filed demanding that eligible men be conscripted. Previous legislation and government orders that shielded the Haredim from the draft expired earlier this year, leaving some 63,000 young ultra-Orthodox men with no legal framework exempting them from service.

The issue has gained added urgency after eight months of war against the Palestinian terror group Hamas in the Gaza Strip and fighting against Lebanon-based Hezbollah in the north, which has placed considerable strain on the army’s resources, requiring that hundreds of thousands of reservists be called up for duty.

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